• 19Sep

    Developing collaborative and targeted asthma support for South Asian families in Leicester

    The National Institute for Health Research has published a report on their project to develop tailored and collaborative support for South Asian children and their families to better manage asthma.

    Asthma is one of the most common long-term conditions affecting children in the UK. South Asian children are more likely to suffer with symptoms and be admitted to hospital, but are less likely to understand their medication or be involved in managing their condition. Health services may also fail to meet their needs.

    There have been efforts made to improve the well-being of children with asthma; however, these have generally been less successful for South Asian children than for White British children. The Management and Interventions for Asthma (MIA) project aimed to find ways to improve the health and experiences of South Asian children with asthma by working closely with children, families, community members and healthcare professionals (HCPs), to ensure that the interventions developed can be tailored to the specific needs of these children.

    The study had four phases. Phase 1 consisted of an evidence review of barriers and facilitators to asthma management in South Asian children. Phase 2 explored lay understandings of childhood asthma and its management among South Asian community members. Phase 3 explored perceptions and experiences of asthma management among South Asian and White British families and HCP perspectives. Phase 4 developed an intervention planning framework addressing the whole asthma pathway leading to the development of an exemplar multifaceted, integrated intervention programme called ‘ACT [Awareness, Context (cultural and organisational) and Training] on Asthma’.

    The MIA project identified 11 key areas within asthma management that needed to be addressed. ‘Getting a diagnosis’ was prioritised and workshops were used so that together, the research team, families and HCPs produced a tailored intervention, ‘ACT on Asthma’, with four arms:

    • community awareness;
    • education and training;
    • clinical support;
    • and the provision of an advice centre.

    Each was underpinned by tailored strategies and centrally co-ordinated by a central team.

    The MIA project highlighted the need for an integrated, participatory approach to intervention development to include families, communities and HCPs.

    The full report can be read here.


    Lakhanpaul M, Bird D, Culley L, Hudson N, Robertson N, Johal N, et al. The use of a collaborative structured methodology for the development of a multifaceted intervention programme for the management of asthma (the MIA project), tailored to the needs of children and families of South Asian origin: a community-based, participatory study. Health Serv Deliv Res 2014;2(28).